Today, vehicles have far superior braking systems than they used to be. Late model cars still have traditional braking systems, but they are backed by ABS systems that prevent the wheels from locking when you have to make a sudden stop or when braking on slippery surfaces. To function properly, your ABS system requires the cooperation of various electronic parts, operated by fuses and relays.
In your ABS system, there are usually two man fuses: one supplies power to the system when you turn the ignition on, activates the anti-lock relay, and closes it. The second fuse then delivers power to the rest of the system. If a fuse blows or the relay fails, your ABS will stop working. You will still have your standard braking system, but ABS will no longer deliver the impulses to the brakes that prevent you from slipping or locking.
Whenever you use your brakes, your antilock fuse or relay is working. There is no specific lifespan for a fuse or relay, but fuses are more vulnerable than relays. It does not replace fuses and relays during routine service, only when they fail. And sadly, there is no way of knowing when that might happen.
When a fuse or anti-lock relay fails, there will be certain signs to watch out for, including:
- ABS light comes on
- ABS does not work
Your ABS system is not something you use all the time, only under certain conditions. But it is a very important safety feature in your vehicle, so fix problems with your ABS system immediately. A certified mechanic can replace the faulty anti-lock fuse or relay to eliminate any additional problems with your vehicle.